Friday, July 20, 2012

Pastoralism key to Horn of Africa's future

The livestock trade generates an estimated $1 billion a year in exports for the Horn of Africa.

Mark Tran writes in the Guardian's Poverty Matters blog about a new book, "Pastoralism and Development in Africa: Dynamic Change at the Margins." Following is an excerpt, referencing a chapter by Emory anthropologist Peter Little:

 "...Peter Little argues that despite its many challenges, mobile pastoralism will continue throughout the Horn for the simple reason that a more viable, alternative land-use system for these areas has not been found. But he predicts that the nature of pastoralism in 2030 will be very different from today.

"Although it will remain the economic foundation of the region, pastoralism will not be practiced by many. Little sees former pastoralists investing in local fodder farms, urban-based markets and services that serve the livestock sector, educating their children and engaging in small-scale trading and other self-employed enterprises. Many would also work for livestock producers as hired herders. Ideally, fattening operations for export animals and meat-processing facilities would be located nearer to pastoral production areas, generating additional employment for local non-pastoralists.

"'In this scenario, the normal occurrence of drought would no longer result in widespread food shortages and hunger as makrets would function effectively and local incomes would be sufficient to purchase needed foods,' writes Little."

Read the whole article on the Guardian web site.

What we can learn from African pastoralists
Climate change, from the hooves up


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